Antique booth sales are brisk

We had our best month ever in December at The Picker Knows, with sales at almost quadruple our rent. This gave us enough money to re-stock for the beginning of tax refund season (people do spend their refunds on “nice-to-haves,” like antique furniture… right?). We also started off strong in January, selling two more pieces and meeting our January rent obligation early in the month. The rest of January has been a little slower, but we are still on track to sell triple the rent, so that too will be a strong month.

The picking trip was fun – we decided to do an overnight trip to the Omaha/Lincoln area, so we spent some time leading up to it looking online for pieces we might acquire in that area. So by the time we arrived on Friday night, all we had to do was call the people whose pieces interested us, and set up appointments to go and take a look.

Vintage dresser | Hazel & Verdie's

Vintage dresser | Hazel & Verdie's

This strategy worked well and by 1 pm Saturday we had a van full of vintage furniture pieces. We stopped at a rather interesting indoor flea market that had a large variety of new and vintage items, and we also stopped at a small independent antique shop while in Omaha. Found bargains at both of these places, crammed them into our already-packed van, and headed home, arriving back in Des Moines around 5 pm Saturday.

Vintage dresser | Hazel & Verdie's

PK is good about calling us whenever a piece of furniture leaves the booth – this lets us know that our booth has a big open space in it, and of course we always want to look full. So we like to have a few pieces in storage at the house that we can take over right away when something sells. (It’s a balancing act – we’d get a bigger booth but we don’t want to be on the hook for additional rent, especially because the rental rates are going up soon. So we store as much as we can at home, and take one or two pieces at a time up to the shop as needed.)

Vintage dresser | Hazel & Verdie's

Fingers crossed for a strong weekend to cap off January!

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Furniture re-do: chalkboard coffee table

I’ve never been shy about grabbing something useful off the curb… and neither has Greg. The two of us make a rather unbeatable team at this, and we seem to recognize the value in the same types of things. Case in point: a nice piece of furniture, like this low-slung coffee table that we picked last Fall. Well-made, a handy pull-out drawer, and solid if a bit out-dated.

coffeetable

Perfect for an upcycle project! My vision for this piece was based on its height – it stood only about 14 inches off the floor, on beautiful curvy legs, and had a solid expanse of top. I envisioned it as a piece for a kids’ room, and I thought, “It’ll make a great play surface, but they’re going to write all over it.” And that’s when it hit me!

Chalkboard coffee table | Hazel and Verdie's

Chalkboard coffee table | Hazel and Verdie's

 

Yep, I masked off that center section of the top, painted the table base with a light blue hue called “Little Whale” from the Tones for Tots line of Fusion Mineral Paint, and then painted the center section with chalkboard paint. I lightly distressed the blue base, and sealed it with satin-finish poly sealer. It made the perfect activity table, especially if those activities revolved around chalk!

Chalkboard coffee table | Hazel and Verdie's

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Dollar Tree Valentine’s Day gifts for $3 per kid

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. The ideas and opinions expressed in this post are completely my own. 

 

When my daughter was little, I couldn’t help but choose some sweet little gift to surprise her for Valentine’s Day, usually accompanied by a Valentine card and a few Reese’s Peanut Butter Hearts. (If she needed help eating those – and she usually did – I was standing by ready to assist.) Because as every mom knows, Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers – it’s also for kids. In fact, I’m kind of surprised we haven’t come up with a heart-shaped stocking for St. Valentine to pop in and fill.

With only one child, it was easy for me to do this each year without feeling guilty. For those with multiple kids, though, it can easily become a tradition that’s too expensive to carry on. This is where Dollar Tree comes in!  This store seriously has some of the cutest budget-friendly decor for any holiday – including Valentine’s Day! And for $1 per item, you can build a little treasure-trove for each child for as much or as little as you like. I challenged myself to create an inexpensive Valentine’s day gift from Dollar Tree at $5 or under. I came in under! Here’s my gift suggestion, at just $3:

Bear Mug Gift | Hazel & Verdie's

Yep, that’s right – a bear, a mug, and some fun little heart-shaped beads, all for $3! Let’s take a quick peek at the elements.

Dollar Tree Valentine Mug | Hazel and Verdie

Dollar Tree has a very nice selection of Valentine’s Day Mugs. I liked this one for kids, because it’s well-suited for some hearty soup or sweet hot cocoa.

Dollar Tree Plush Bear | Hazel & Verdie's

There’s also a range of choices in Valentine’s Day plush toys, including bears, puppies, monkeys, and other furry friends.

Dollar Tree Heart Beads | Hazel & Verdie's

These plastic heart-shaped beads add a bit of bling to the whole package. At four strands for a dollar, you can get a lot of mileage from one or two packages.

Of course, you can adapt this “filled mug” idea for kids of most any age, boys or girls, simply by switching out the toys for a myriad of other $1 items. But I’ll be honest, I don’t know how you could walk past that little bear and not plop him into your cart… he’s silky soft and irresistibly cute!

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Furniture re-do: from bookcase to bar cart

We’ve had a few successes with repurposing projects – cast-off items we purchased and then transformed into something different and useful. (Remember our Beachy Federalist coat rack?) By far our mutual favorite is what we simply call our bar cart, which started life as one section of a barrister bookcase.

Bar cart before | Hazel and Verdie's

We found the section at Goodwill – normally it would sit horizontally and be stacked on top of other identical sections – and quickly re-envisioned it as a bar cart. So we got to work designing, and came up with the general idea that it would sit vertically, with a hinged shelf that would pop up, and shelving inside for bar supplies, glassware, and liquor bottles. Engineering these elements was interesting… Greg handled the problem-solving in this phase, based on my design.

Bar cart design | Hazel and Verdie's

Bar cart design | Hazel and Verdie's

Bar cart design | Hazel and Verdie's

We also opted for caster wheels on the bottom, and envisioned a sort of industrial color scheme with a light green painted base and a faux copper spray-painted top.

Bar cart finished | Hazel and Verdie's

Bar cart finished | Hazel and Verdie's

We put the finished cabinet in our booth at The Picker Knows, and to our delight it sold within a week. After this project, we’re pretty well convinced that most any cabinet could be repurposed into a home bar!

Update: I’m sharing this project at Donna’s DIY Salvaged Junk Projects link party! Click through for great inspiration!

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2016 blog year in review

I didn’t have the busiest blog in 2016, but it’s been fun to look back and be reminded of all that I did share throughout the year. Here’s a quick summary of 2016!

Booth news – After launching our antique booth adventure in October of the previous year, 2016 became the year of hauling stuff around among three antique malls. By Fall, however, we had consolidated down to one booth, and refocused our efforts on selling vintage furniture, had a very strong Fourth Quarter, and had our best single sales month to date in December. We are now located in Booth #211 at The Picker Knows, 1208 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines.

Booth 211 at The Picker KnowsWe also had a number of memorable weekends visiting outdoor flea markets in What Cheer, Rutledge/Colony, and Sparks. (Why I did not post about Sparks, I have no idea – we had a great trip there!)

Hazel & Verdie | Rutledge Flea Market
Projects – Here’s where my blogging efforts really fell short this year. I completed a large number of craft and DIY projects in 2016, but I didn’t post about most of them. I’ll blame it on the technical issues I had with the blog beginning around August. My two favorite projects that I did post about were my sweet red vintage side table, and the outdoor fence decor I just posted. I promise I’ll share many of the others, and I already have some new projects waiting in the blog wings to show you!

Hazel and Verdie's | Furniture makeover: small red cottage table

Junk Fence Project | Hazel and Verdie's
Just for Fun – Every once in awhile, I’m struck by an odd observation or taking note of something happening in my neighborhood or home city/state. I hope you don’t mind that I like to post about these things… they aren’t technically “on topic” (if the topics are “dishes, decorating, and DIY”) but I do occasionally love to offer up a little commentary. A couple examples of this are my unbridled glee at seeing the black squirrels return to the neighborhood, and wondering aloud how it could be that smoke calms bees.

Hazel & Verdie's | Black squirrel

Bee Smoker | Hazel & Verdie's

Thanks for reading in 2016 – I’ve got big plans for the coming year so I hope you’ll stick around!

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